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Shirley Jean Kramer, 87, of Kennewick, WA, died in the early morning hours of Monday, September 30, at Callaway Gardens Alzheimer's Special Care Center.
Shirley was born in Spokane, Washington, on September 11, 1926, the second of three children born to Julius Ernest Emil Brandt and Amanda Josephine (Goodwin) Brandt, and lived there her entire childhood. A bundle of energetic extrovertism, Shirley loved music and dance, performing in dance recitals on stage from an early age.
After graduating from North Central High School in 1944, Shirley attended the University of Idaho and immersed herself in college life. She was a member of the sorority of Gamma Phi Beta, the cheerleading squad, drama club, debate squad, and the Spurs women's organization. Her future husband Robert (Bob) followed Shirley to campus a year after her arrival. The two were married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Spokane on June 4, 1948, and returned to Moscow, ID, where Bob continued his studies until graduating in June of 1949.
Working a series of various jobs while Bob attended medical school at the University of Washington, she later transitioned to full-time homemaker when the time came for them to start a family. After Bob's residencies in North Highlands, CA, and Seattle, WA, the couple moved to Pasco with their three sons in 1959, where Bob began his private medical practice.
Shirley was a life-long member of the Lutheran church, teaching Sunday school, singing in the choir, and participating in Bible study circles. Shirley also was a member of the ecumenical group Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), where she taught children's Bible study classes. She was also a long-time member of the service organization PEO.
After Bob retired from active medical practice, Shirley and he moved to Kennewick. They enjoyed their new retirement home and traveled extensively overseas and around the Pacific Northwest, including many days at their mountain cabin. Shirley loved her social life, spending time with friends, and making new acquaintances. Even during her short stay in Callaway Gardens, she came to refer to each member of the staff there as "darling," appreciating their efforts made on her behalf.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, her brother-in-law Howard Baker, older sister Carol Elaine (Brandt) Baker, and sister-in-law Betty Lucile (Kramer) Johnson (Gil). She is survived by her husband Robert J. Kramer; sons Chris, Paul, and Timothy Kramer, daughter-in-law Lisa Udel; grandchildren Joel Kramer and Chelsea Kramer; younger brother Alan Dale Brandt, sister-in-law Barbara (Miller) Brandt, and eleven nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on November 2nd at Kennewick First Lutheran Church, 418 N. Yelm Street. Any memorials in Shirley's name should be made to the
Published in Tri-City Herald on Oct. 15, 2013